Day 623 [June 17/10] -- Course change to east side of Hawaiian Islands

Today's Report
June 17/10 0800 JST / 1300 Honolulu time

Position:  18°40'N, 150°59'W (North Pacific Ocean) 

Remaining distance to Yokohama finish:  15.0%

A course change was made last night to go up the east side of the Hawaiian Islands after it became clear that there was a significant wind shadow on the west side of Big Island that is disrupting the East Trades. This is causing winds, as far out as 100 miles west of the islands, to reduce to between 1.5 and 4 kts, as shown on ClearPoint. NBSDIII requires at least 4 kts to sail under autopilot control. 

Instead of those wonderfully steady winds from the E and NE he is now enjoying, as soon as he turned north the winds would fall off to less than 4 kts, and come from virtually all directions of the compass, thanks to the break up of the "Trades."

Meanwhile, there is a circulating current around the islands that would have presented Saito-san a counter current for 80 or more miles as he struggled to make the final 200 nm north along the island chain.

In ClearPoint image, broken winds and countercurrent arrows can be seen

There is no difference in distances between the old and new routes, as shown on Google Earth. He now has 455 nm remaining to reach his Hawaii stopover at Keehi Marina, Honolulu, averaging 106 nm a day over the past three days. ETA is still in the am on Monday, June 21.

A rigger has now been arranged to visit the boat on Tuesday to attend to problems with the staysail furler and to go aloft to inspect the rigging.

Two more milestones were passed yesterday. Saito-san has now completed 85% of the circumnavigation as he crossed the 24,000 nautical mile marker! 

Distance in last 24 hours: 107 nm over ground / 99 nm DMG after course change
Total distance completed: 24,023 nm
To Yokohama: 4,261 nm
To Hawaii WP2: 455 nm
Heading: 312°
Reported boat speed: 4.5 - 5.0 kts
Average boat speed: 4.1 kts
Average daily DMG over last 3 days: 106 nm 
Weather: Overcast, cool, scattered rain, occasional thunderstorms
Temperature: 23.0° C
Barometer: 1014 hPa 
Wind (from): 13-16 kts, NE, expected to be 13-14 kts ENE over next 19 hrs
Waves: 2.0 m
Current (from): E at 0.5 kts (somewhat unfavorable, causing leeway)
Engine: 0.0 hrs
Generator: 9.25 hrs
Sails: Genoa 50%, staysail 0%, mainsail 2-pt reef

Position Map

Yellow line is new route east of the islands.